Boks win All-Africa affair

April 5, 2009
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Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu has praised the fighting spirit of his team after they retained the Adelaide International Sevens title on Sunday in convincing style against Kenya, winning by 26-7. 

“The guys showed true character and composure and a great desire to win, especially after our loss in the pool against Kenya. We really like to play in Adelaide as it suits our style of play and the support we got from our supporters here was fantastic,? said Treu.

The SA coach only had nine players available for the final after injuries had ruled out Neil Powell and Lionel Mapoe (ankle injuries) and Mzwandile Stick was cited following an incident in the New Zealand match.

After the final an IRB judicial hearing they suspended Stick for four weeks, until 19 April. The Cup final was a first for the ever-improving and hugely popular Kenyan team and also a historic first all-African World Series final. It was South Africa’s third win in six tournament finals and their fourth Cup final appearance.

“Kenya are such good ambassadors for the game and they attract a huge following wherever they go. They were the absolute crowd favourites, but we did not allow ourselves to be distracted. We have set ourselves some targets for the season and one of them was to retain our Adelaide title,? added Treu.

He said the team has dealt well with the disappointment of losing to Argentina in the quarter-final of the World Cup in Dubai.

“We regrouped and I told the players there was still plenty to play for, like defending our crown in Adelaide and obviously the World Series, which is our big goal for the season. The players responded in brilliant fashion, judging by our narrow loss to Fiji in the Hong Kong final and now our victory in Adelaide,? said Treu.

Boks now 28 points ahead

The Adelaide victory allowed South Africa to stretch their World Series lead to 28 points over England. South Africa has 104 points and England 76.

Despite the big lead Treu said he will not allow himself and his team to get carried away: “I’ve seen a lot of things happen in Sevens and the teams are all very competitive. We will regroup in Stellenbosch and start to prepare for our next tournament in London,? said the SA coach.

The SA captain Mpho Mbiyozo received the Player of the Tournament award. The hard-hitting forward praised his team mates for producing an outstanding display in defence of their title.

“The players were focused and were very determined to win after we come so close in Hong Kong last weekend,? he said. South Africa defeated arch-rivals New Zealand 17-0 in a clinical quarter-final display while they had to come from behind to beat Fiji 21-10 in the semis.

Kenya accounted for Sevens World Cup winners Wales (33-14) and World Cup runners-up Argentina (17-5) in the earlier knockout stages to book their first IRB Series Cup final slot.

Only two tournaments now remain and South Africa are now the firm favourites to snatch the coveted World Series away from New Zealand. The London Sevens is next on the list on May 23 and 24, followed by the season-ending Edinburgh Sevens in Scotland a week later.

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5 Comments

  1. avatar The Brand says:
    April 5th, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Well done 7s Bokke !!!

    Well done Kenya !!!

  2. avatar DavidS says:
    April 5th, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    Two tournaments to go

    Wonder when the Anglo Saxon rulling classes of world rugby will “find” another reason to dock us 30 points like they did with Tonderai Chavanga

  3. avatar fyndraai says:
    April 6th, 2009 at 1:01 am

    Is 7s even a real sport? They have tournaments with the same players playing exhibition matches all over the world, ala Haarlem Globetrotters. :D

  4. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    April 6th, 2009 at 2:20 am

    Reply to fyndraai @ 1:01 am:

    The Stormers, Cheetahs, Lions should take a big note of how the 7′s Bok’s were relentless at the breakdown… bullying the NZ’ers in the quarters with their physicality despite being much smaller…

  5. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    April 6th, 2009 at 2:22 am

    Cheetahs should be getting both Mapoe and Ebersohn back for next years S14…

    Mapoe super quick and surprisingly strong in the tackle, bumping off the much bigger Fijians and NZ’ers…

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